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Journal Highlights: June 2019

Highlights

19 Jul 2019 

SCI's peer-reviewed journals provide research studies and commentary articles undertaken by top scientists in emerging areas, addressing global audiences by crossing academic, industrial, government and science policy sectors.

Here are some of the highlights from the most recent issues of our journals. To view the full range of SCI's journals, visit our Publications page!

Herbs and spices for disease prevention

Herbs & Spices

Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture DOI: 10.1002/jsfa.9658

Historically, culinary herbs and spices have been used for medicinal purposes in Ancient China, Greece, India and Rome for the treatment of cancer, jaundice, gastrointestinal infections, mouth ulcers, asthma, and chest problems, as well as to boost memory and cognitive performance. Today, they are known primarily as flavour enhancers, but it is now well established that they may have a role to play in the prevention of chronic diseases.

Studies are now beginning to provide insights into the significance of the potential health benefits of herbs and spices, particularly concerning their antioxidant and anti‐inflammatory properties and their impact on glucose homeostasis, appetite and the consumption of low/reduced fat, salt and sugar foods.

This article explores the current evidence and provides suggestions on how to overcome challenge for the next phase of studies in this space.

Removing pollutants with bioelectrochemical systems

 pollution

Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology DOI: 10.1002/jctb.5848

Pollution derived from humans (anthropogenic pollution) has been an environmental burden since humans learned to control fire and smelt metals. But it became a significant problem after the industrial revolution and the availability of synthetic chemistry, when a large variety of chemical compounds that are not normally encountered in nature, became widely available.

Today, contamination of soils, sediments, ground and surface water caused by waste resulting from human action and leakage into water sources constitutes a major part of anthropogenic pollution and is a serious problem. This pollution contains toxic and persistent compounds (known as xenobiotics – chemicals not naturally occurring in their environment), which causes concerns from a health and environmental viewpoint. It also represents a significant economic burden for society.

Alleviating the accumulation of xenobiotics in the environment is imperative in order to sustain life on the planet, and has been subject to extensive research. However, the use of bioelectrochemical systems (unique systems capable of converting the chemical energy of organic waste into electricity or hydrogen/chemical products in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) or microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) respectively) to do this is a relatively new endeavour.

This article reports on the history of electromicrobiology, and looks at the advantages of bioelectrochemical systems, concluding that it is promising for sustainably alleviating environmental xenobiotics.

Managing insect resistance

 Fly

Pest Management Science DOI: 10.1002/ps.5341

Drosophila, a type of fly, is an invasive pest of global fruit crops. Owing to its biologic make up and the fact that it has been repeatedly exposed to pesticides, the risk of pesticide resistance has increased.

The authors of this paper tested five key pesticides against multiple colonies using a new type of contact bioassay method to determine their effectiveness. Using this method, samples of insects can be tested within just one day against these five key insecticides. This method can help manage insect resistance strategies and help to preserve fruit crops globally.

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